Civil Service ‘Not Really Preparing’ For No Deal Scenario

A concerning report by the BBC’s Chris Cook says the government is not taking seriously the idea of a ‘no deal’ Brexit, and that preparations for such a scenario are superficial at best. Cook writes: “A lot of memos are being circulated, but not a lot beyond that. Britain does not seem to be taking the idea of No Deal very seriously”. This is a view echoed by senior Brexiters, who are worried that the civil service and Cabinet Remainers are so gloomy about a no deal Brexit that they are not even countenancing that outcome. Guido reported in March that senior Leavers were lobbying the government to prepare for no deal – at the time Number 10 officials put the probability of no deal at between 30% and 50%. Not much progress has been made since then…

Given the not exactly tiny possibility that talks with Brussels could break down, a failure to make serious preparations would be an abdication of responsibility similar to the lack of contingency planning for a Leave vote under the Cameron / Heywood administration. In any case, a no deal Brexit provides huge opportunities that should be being talked up not down. Pretending to be ready to walk away is not good enough, the government and civil service needs to make real plans for such an outcome…




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